It is that busy time of year where classroom instruction seems to fly by and engaging students of all ages can be challenging. Exhale and know that you are making a difference. Intentional planning can really help maintain the calm in the classroom these last few weeks leading up to the holiday break.
For those looking to enhance their students’ reading surrounding this season, I thought I would share this great website that offers a comprehensive list of recommended Christmas Novels and Short Stories .
I love to share the good when and where I find it!
A very special thank you to all of our faithful supporters who have encouraged us and helped this blog surpass 50,000 posts read since 2012.
Since I took a position as an elementary principal, our posts have been random as I acclimated to the new role. However, I am working on a new academic eBook book for summer publishing, and the Unlock the Teacher team is currently sending out proposals on a resource book for early childhood parents and teachers.
The goal of this blog is to share the good in education for the betterment of our future…our children.
This blog has seen parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, publishers and a few Department of Education and government leaders comment and support its efforts. Thank you for your support.
Dolch Phonetic System Classroom Materials Organization
Use a plastic file cube to store materials. One hanging folder for each Dolch list will hold all of the game and practice materials. Add a 2nd hanging files for each Dolch list to hold flashcard sheets to give to a student when he/she moves to a new Dolch list. The student takes this list home for practice. Keep your record binder in the cube too.
It might be helpful to print the materials for each list in a particular color. This makes it easy to get stray flashcards and other materials back into the correct folder.
laminate or use clear contact paper on the flashcards. Laminate or contact the whole sheet before cutting. This helps, because the students love to review with them and they can go home once completed for additional review.
Game boards, bingo cards etc. can be laminated or placed in plastic sleeves. Three hole punched plastic sleeves are very cheap at Costco. They are actually a much cheaper and a faster way to protect the game boards. (I hole punch the cards to and put on ring sometimes for the students.)
Give each student a practice booklet to keep. The student brings the booklet to testing sessions. The teacher can write helpful hints in the booklet for the student and “stamp, star or sticker” completed lists.
Record Keeping:Maintain a pocketed binder for student and class records.Store testing lists and or testing flashcards in the pocket of the binder.Maintain individual records, a class graph, and a status of the class.
Test each student every week or two. They will “bug” you to test them. As a teacher, you will begin to see their confidence rise. In a regular classroom setting, teachers can grab a couple of minutes here and there for testing: during SSR, during an art project, while at the computer lab or library etc. Regular testing does not have to be
built into the schedule.
I prefer to do my own testing, so I can observe errors and help the student by giving little individual mini-lessons. If you use an aide or volunteer to test, make sure you demonstrate to them how you want your testing done. You are seeking automatically with the words. If the student takes more than a count to 5 to read the word, he/she doesn’t know the word well enough.
• Word cards with words that contain familiar spelling patterns (or blends, rimes, digraphs, etc.)
Tell the students that they will be reading cards with familiar word patterns. Then,
1. Ask a student to read the first word card. Give the student no more than three seconds to answer.
2. If the student reads the card correctly, place it face down on the table. If the student cannot read
the card, tell him or her what the word is, emphasizing the pattern, and place the unread or misread card in front of the student.
3. Show the following word card to the next student, repeating step 2. Repeat until all word cards have been read or given to students.
4. Have the students who have cards in front of them attempt to read those words again. If they are able to read the card quickly and easily, take it back.
5. If a student misreads any words again, have the student keep the card and ask him or her to practice reading it.
To check for comprehension, ask students to use each word in a complete sentence.
Instead of using word patterns, use cards with sight words written on them, and have the students use the words in sentences.
This is a great activity for parents to use with their emerging readers at home too. There are many weeks left to summer, Happy Reading!
We are working on our calendar of events for next school year now. If you or your school would like to have us come in and provide one of the many workshops we offer, please let us know so we can pencil you in.
We love hearing from you and sharing your ideas too. We are creating a massive resource section on our website for educational and non-profit grants. We will be launching this information in April. If you or your school has a great Best Practice to share or is in need of information, we would love to hear from you. It is through the sharing of knowledge and positive collaboration, that we will create a better tomorrow for our children, our future!
Mysteries of the Beach is on sale now at Barnes and Noble and can be downloaded for your child’s enjoyment and to utilize as an educational tool. This is a complete science unit (k-2) on the ocean, all inside one book.
We have included hyper links throughout, which make it an ideal teaching tool for classrooms with Smartboards. Regardless if you are teaching a class, small groups or an individual student, this book is a great resource.
We have recommended additional websites and resources to enrich both the academic and enjoyment areas.
Thank you to everyone for the outpouring of support! For those who have already purchased the book, please share your experiences and/or children’s comments about Mysteries of the Beach. We will be publishing the coloring book attachment piece for 99 cents soon.
We are excited to share with you the books being launched March 1st for our Unlock the Teacher LLC Promoting Literacy Campaign. We appreciate and look forward to all comments.
As many have already requested, we will donate any of our eBooks to schools, libraries, hospitals or any facility that helps children and promotes literacy. Our goal is to share knowldege and promote all that is good in education!
All proceeds from the eBook for “All Around our Town” will be donated to St. Mary’s School in Royal Oak, Michigan. This school has a wonderful curriculum plan that incorporates art and reading across the curriculum.
The art teachers exhibits a passion for her craft and enjoys showcasing the many beautiful art projects created by her students. The 7th and 8th graders are so well read in this building, I enjoy stopping in to ask them what they are reading and why. I can not wait to see what wonderful ways this building will utilize our gift.